Macuata hosts Fiji’s first bat sanctuary

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere celebrate the dedication ceremony with stakeholders at Nakanacagi Village on Monday, July 16, 2018. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

VILLAGERS of Nakanacagi in Macuata have turned a new leaf as they officially dedicated the nation’s first Bat Sanctuary to the Almighty.

Joined by their chief Ratu Wiliame Katonivere and stakeholders, the villagers have vowed to continue with the ban of traditional harvesting of bats from the cave that has housed the endangered species known as the Fijian Free-Tailed Bats.

In dedicating the ceremony with religious leaders, Ratu Wiliame said the Nakanacagi Bat Sanctuary would provide an opportunity for the children of Macuata to be engaged in the much-needed research on Fiji’s unique wildlife.

“I know deep in my heart that together, we can continue to make the Nakanacagi Bat Sanctuary a safe haven for Fiji’s free-tailed bats,” he said.

The sanctuary is located in Dreketi, about 60kilometres Southwest of Labasa Town.

This project is spearheaded by NatureFiji-MareqetiViti and supported by National Trust of Fiji Island, Bat Conservation International, Birdlife International and Rainforest Trust.

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